In a cool collaboration with guitar supremo U-Nam and his Skytown Records label, chart topping R&B songwriter and producer James Day is all set to release his stunning new CD ‘Repertoire’. Styled as a classic 80's collection of soul, dance, quiet storm, and smooth jazz it is a mixture of all new tunes plus fresh remixes of some of his most memorable songs to date. Not only that, it builds on Day’s well established technique of pairing his own compositions with an array of A-List performers that this time around includes Maysa, Lin Rowntree, Cool Million, Walter Beasley and, of course, the incomparable U-Nam.
In fact it is U-Nam’s production that add its own rhythmic magic to the opening ‘We Dance’. Not only is it a track that is further embellished by U-Nam’s distinctive guitar work, unmistakable vocals from Maysa and additional production by Cool Million (aka Frank Ryle and Rob Hardt) it also puts down a marker for the entire CD.
Not only that, in terms of choosing a favorite number, it poses a real dilemma.
Quite simply this is a recording jam packed with standouts and another is the silky smooth old school vibe of ‘Don’t Waste The Pretty’ that features veteran soul vocalist Glen Jones. The tune first appeared on Day’s 2008 release ‘Better Days’ and another song from the archives is the title cut from Day’s 2011 project ‘Natural Thing’ that here showcases the vocals of Audrey Wheeler backed up by smoky sax from Walter Beasley and more great guitar from U-Nam.
Wheeler returns (this time in an inspired duet with the late Gavin Christopher) for the mid tempo ‘Considered Delivered’ and when Donnie steps up on vocals the result is ‘RSVP’ that has U-Nam’s high octane style front back and center. Both tracks originate from the 2013 ‘Seasons & Reasons’ as does the wonderful ‘Rewind’ that, with an addictive steppers beat, is guaranteed to invigorate even the most tired of dancing feet.
Elsewhere ‘Dance Again’ (in the capable hands of Trina Broussard and Tim Owens) proves to be a soulful ballad of the highest order and talking of soul it doesn’t come much better than that found in the sumptuous title cut where Tony Terry rolls back the years and is joined in the endeavor by smooth jazz trumpeter Lin Rountree whose understated input really hits the spot.
Highly recommended – this is a ‘must have’ album.